Winter Storms of January and February
The Disaster: For two months last winter a series of winter storms plagued much of North America, bringing record cold, huge snowfall, freezing rain, and grinding commerce to a halt. A series of seven major storm events led to over 4.75 billion in economic losses and 89 deaths. During the “Polar Vortex” event in early January, when a large pocket of bitter cold air descended from the North Pole, temperatures dropped below freezing in twenty states breaking decades-old records in the process. An estimated 10,000 flights were canceled over the two-month time frame. Numerous scientists attribute the changing storm patterns to warming of the polar ice which is causing the jet stream to meander farther south bringing with it bitter cold. While North America had one of its colder winters on record due to the arctic influx, most of the rest of the globe experienced one of the hottest winters on record due to warming trends.
State of Recovery: All affected areas have recovered and are prepared for another cold snap. The Arctic Front that affected much of North America from November 11 to 20 this year set record temps in 43 states and provided a reminder of what might be in store this winter.
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